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Women of the Future

At 16 years old, Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg has made headlines across the world with her protests and speeches regarding climate change. She’s not the only one, youngsters from all over the world are finding ways of tackling some of our pollution and sustainability problems from Fionn Ferreira’s invention that removes microplastics from water and Xóchitl Guadalupe Cruz who designed and built a solar water heater from recycled materials.

In South Africa, a number of young people are making headlines with their work from satellites to brinks made from urine. Takunda Chitaka, a PhD student at the University of Cape Town, won a PETCO award for her work in understanding the problems of plastic in coastal environments. Rotondwa Musitha started Trash Converters when she saw that only 2% of recycled materials were recycled in her province of Limpopo. Starting on foot with a small team, she has grown her ideas into an award winning business and is showing her community the importance of recycling.

Pollution and sustainability are not the only areas where South African youngsters are making waves. In the fields of science, mathematics, engineering and innovative design, many students are making headlines. Grade 12 student, Gabriella Mogale, has developed a fire-proof shack. Her design not only reduces the risk of burning but insulates the shack as well. 17-year-old teen pilot Megan Werner, founder of U-Dream Global, and a team of 20 teens build and flew a plane from Cape Town to Cairo and back with "the purpose is to show Africa and even the world that anything is possible if you set your mind to it."

Volunteers at projects like our Community Children’s Project work with children in rural communities to help develop their potential and their community, and hopefully we’ll see their names in innovative design headlines.

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